A tale of two defectors: The importance of standing for evolution of indirect reciprocity

Karthik Panchanathan, Robert Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

233 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Indirect reciprocity occurs when the cooperative behavior between two individuals is contingent on their previous behavior toward others. Previous theoretical analysis indicates that indirect reciprocity can evolve if individuals use an image-scoring strategy. In this paper, we show that, when errors are added, indirect reciprocity cannot be based on an image-scoring strategy. However, if individuals use a standing strategy, then cooperation through indirect reciprocity is evolutionarily stable. These two strategies differ with respect to the information to which they attend. While image-scoring strategies only need attend to the actions of others, standing strategies also require information about intent. We speculate that this difference may shed light on the evolvability of indirect reciprocity. Additionally, we show that systems of indirect reciprocity are highly sensitive to the availability of information. Finally, we present a model which shows that if indirect reciprocity were to evolve, selection should also favor trusting behavior in relations between strangers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume224
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Reciprocity
Availability
Cooperative Behavior
Scoring
cooperatives
Evolvability
Narrative
Strategy
Theoretical Analysis

Keywords

  • Altruism
  • Cooperation
  • Generalized exchange
  • Image score
  • Indirect reciprocity
  • Reputation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

A tale of two defectors : The importance of standing for evolution of indirect reciprocity. / Panchanathan, Karthik; Boyd, Robert.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 224, No. 1, 07.09.2003, p. 115-126.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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